Tip o' My Brain

December 26, 2010

Suspect in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 10:50 pm

The setup is interesting–a public defender seeks justice for her client with the help of a juror–and Cher and Dennis Quaid do their best with what they’ve got.  But flat direction, an overbearing score, and courtroom antics that wouldn’t stand up in a high school mock trial make it ultimately forgettable.

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December 25, 2010

L.A. Confidential in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 5:08 pm

The plot is byzantine–I’ve seen it half a dozen times and I still don’t think I have it all down–but it’s powerful and the performances are top-notch.  It deserves to be mentioned with all the noir greats.  And it’s what put Russell Crowe on the map. Legions of Gladiator fans are grateful.

I Robot in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 5:03 pm

What could have been a CGI-engorged crapfest was actually a thought-provoking movie about isolation and the nature of life.  Alex Proyas makes films that can rise above their sci-fi source material and speak to people.

The Shawshank Redemption in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 5:00 pm

It’s funny how all the best Stephen King movies soar above the source material.  And it’s funny how this movie breaks certain ironclad filmmaking principles (like over-reliance on narration) and makes it work so beautifully.  The language and the violence are pretty rough, but as Red says, “Prison isn’t a fairy tale world.”  Consider me scared straight.

Unstoppable in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 4:56 pm

Tony Scott is a more seasoned Michael Bay–he’s VERY loud, and he’ll make something explode if he has to shoehorn it in.  But his characters and dialogue are much more credible. And the “based on a true story” tag actually means something here– jumping onto a moving train from a pickup might seem easy in Hollywoodland, but here you cringe at the possibility of a misstep.

Role Models in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 4:50 pm

I can’t recommend it–it’s crude and sexually suggestive.  But check out these revelatory messages! 1) Knee-jerk cynicism doesn’t make you cool, it just makes you lonely, 2) Having sex at the drop of a hat actually has disastrous consequences, 3) Boys actually want to be taught the facts of life, as well as 4) to have someone stand up for them.  Oh yeah, and I laughed. Catch it on TV.

Elf in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 4:43 pm

I like this Christmas classic for all the things it isn’t–heavy-handed messages about how we need to remember the “spirit of Christmas,” or act like Christmas happens every day, etc. I’m not categorically against these movies, I should add.  But Elf is just about having a good time. I’m all for that.

From Here to Eternity in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 4:39 pm

This ’50s classic about military life before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor is very watchable. But it never rose higher than melodrama for me.  At least the filmmakers chose to focus on the story and relegated the actual attack to the end, which gave these characters lives more import (not like Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor).

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 4:32 pm

Some might find the story slow at times, but it never was for me.  I was caught up into this unfamiliar world–where men speak nautically and where breach of protocol isn’t considered roguish or daring (like in our world).  I was completely convinced. Peter Weir can create believable worlds like no one else.

Tron in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 4:26 pm

I love this movie, and not just because I’m honor-bound to my geek brethren to love it.  Behind the day-glo costumes is one of Disney’s most mature stories, with a startling level of spiritual depth. A guy enters a different world to help his creations fight an adversary that’s trying to erase belief in his existence? Whoa.

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